The permanent fence guide for paddocks

6 Fence height and safety case of show jumpers or sports ponies, as they jump much higher as part of their sport. If you operate mixed grazing on your paddock, you must have a fence that suits all the animals in it. Fences also have to be adapted for stallions and foals. Yet correctly determining the precise fence height is not so easy. Not only do the horses in the pasture play a role, but also the nature of the pasture itself. “Hardly any horse owners take the topography of the pasture into account when building a fence. The height of the fence is usually measured directly on the fence post. However, the horse would probably usually jump from about a meter away from the fence. Even small irregularities in the ground would give the horse extra height,” explains expert Georg W. Fink. A fence must be safe. But when is a fence considered safe? How high should a fence be? These are questions that even experts can’t answer clearly sometimes. “The legal basis for paddock fences is article 2 of the Animal Welfare Act and various bodies have made recommendations based on this,” says Volker Raulf, an agricultural engineer, in Pferdebetrieb 3/2012. “Only the Higher Regional Court of Celle has once made a ruling (26 January 2000, 9 U 130/99) on the height of a fence to prevent a horse jumping over it. According to this ruling, as a rule of thumb, the height of a fence should be at least four fifths of the withers of the largest horse in the pasture,” continues Raulf. (AKO: we recommend installing the top line of the conductor material only 10 % under the height of the withers of the largest horse.) You should also consider which horses or ponies are in the pasture. The withers rule of thumb, for example, doesn’t help much in the AKO tip: Note irregularities in the ground when determining fence height. Small horses Large horses 165 cm 140 cm 115 cm 90 cm 65 cm 40 cm